Deep League Starting Pitchers: National League

Doug Pensinger

Ray Guilfoyle takes a look at some starting pitchers that should be drafted in deeper fantasy leagues in 2013. Today, I take a look at some starters that were outside of my Top 50 Starting Pitchers for NL-only leagues.

Earlier this week, I published my Top 50 Starting Pitchers for NL-only leagues, and today I am going to take a look at a few starting pitchers outside of my Top 50 for those of you in deeper mixed and NL-only leagues.

I will list at least one deep league starter from each NL team, and will list them by division:

National League East

Jacob Turner, MIA

Julio Teheran, ATL

Zack Wheeler, NYM

Ross Detwiler, WAS

Kyle Kendrick, PHI

National League Central

Travis Wood, CHC

All five Reds starters made my Top 50

Wily Peralta, MIL

Michael Fiers, MIL

James McDonald, PIT

Shelby Miller, STL

National League West

All five Giants and Diamondbacks starters made my Top 50

Jhoulys Chacin, COL

Juan Nicasio, COL

Jorge De La Rosa, COL

Hyun-jin Ryu, LAD

Clayton Richard, SD

Cory Luebke, SD

I wrote about Chacin in my LABR Mixed League piece earlier in the week. Here is what I said about him:

Chacin was drafted in the 28th round by Doug Anderson from DFS Edge, and I think he could return to his pre-2012 form in 2013. Chacin pitched through an injury last season, landing on the DL, making just 14 starts going 3-5 with a 4.43 ERA. After returning from the DL, Chacin made 9 starts, covering 44.1 innings pitched, and put up a 2.84 ERA in those 9 starts. He gave up one run or less in 6 of his 9 starts, looking more like the starter who put up a 3.28 ERA in 2010 and 3.62 ERA in 2011.

Mets pitching prospect Zack Wheeler did not make my Top 50 NL-only starting pitcher rankings for 2013, but that is only because he will be starting the season in AAA. Some have called him the right-handed version of Clayton Kershaw. He won't last long in the hitter's haven in Las Vegas, and should join Jonathan Niese, Matt Harvey, Johan Santana, Shaun Marcum and Dillon Gee in New York at some point in 2013. It's just a matter of which starter hits the DL first, but there are several candidates in Marcum and Santana.

Padres starter Cory Luebke will be looking to return to the near-ace level performance he put up before Tommy John surgery. He should be back in May or June and should move to the top of the Padres rotation fairly quickly. If you have a bench spot available, you will be happy that you grabbed Luebke on draft day.

Braves starter Julio Teheran has nothing more to prove in the minors, but he comes with some red flags, including a declining strikeout rate as he has moved up each level in the minors, and a tendency to give up the long ball. He will have to pitch well with Brandon Beachy expected back by midseason.

Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick will be looking to build on his strong second half last season, where he sported a 2.87 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .215 batting average over 78.1 innings. He raised his strikeout rate from 4.63 per nine innings to 6.55 per nine.

Pirates starter James McDonald will be looking to prove that his horrible second half last season was a fluke. He was excellent in the first half last season, putting up a 2.37 ERA, a 100-31 strikeout to walk rate in 110 innings, and held opposing batters to a .194 batting average.

Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa is returning from Tommy John surgery this season. He is four years removed from winning 16 games while striking out more than a batter per inning. He had become more of a control pitcher before the injury, as his walk rate dropped from 4.29 per nine to 3.36 per nine. He should come cheap on draft day in NL only leagues, and is a late round pick in deeper mixed leagues.

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